I groaned as I fell to the floor yet again with only a thin grey mat to cushion my fall. I closed my eyes wiping the sweat from my forehead and hoped that if I just stayed where I was then he wouldn’t make me get back up. My fantasy was short lived however, when I felt his firm grip on my forearm effectively pulling me to my feet.
“I think I have a concussion.” I groaned rubbing the back of my head and glaring at Blake.
He huffed clearly not amused by my comment and quickly checked to make sure I was indeed joking before taking a few steps back.
“You’re ok. Let’s go again.” He moved into his ready stance and I huffed cocking my head to the side.
“We have been at this for over an hour. Not all of us are super soldiers.” I argued ignoring his command and walking backwards towards the benches.
“I just want you to be able to protect yourself.” He followed after me and grabbed his water bottle taking a quick sip. I knew that he was right, he always was, but I was not one to just concede.
“Isn’t that what you’re here for?” I asked smirking over at him as I fished for my phone. “And what happens when I am not? What if I am not with you one day and one of those things attacks you?”
“Well, then that would mean you weren’t doing your job.” I said cheerfully choosing to ignore the severity of the hypothetical situation.
Blake was a member of The Guard, a branch of the military that was specially trained to hunt and kill vampires. Thankfully, as of now The Guard was only a precautionary measure however, they used to be the most frequently harnessed asset that the humans had against the vampires. When he wasn’t working as a Guard member, Blake had been hired by my parents to protect their only daughter.
“You are impossible Alexandra.” He smirked over at me as I glared back at him, he knew I hated when he called me by my full first name.
He motioned back to the mat expectantly, but there was no way that I was getting back on that thing with him today. Luckily, when I checked the time on my phone I realized that we were already running late.
“You know I would love to, I really would, but if we don’t leave now we will be late for the Amity Ball.” He peered down at his watch a groaned and I giggled to myself while I packed up my bag.
Before I had time to get a grasp on it, Blake had picked up my gym bag and slung it over his shoulder. Always the gentleman.
“Honestly, I was hoping that you had forgotten.” He held open the exit for me as we made our way to the waiting car in the parking lot.
I shook my head, “How could I forget about it? Especially this year.”
The Amity Ball was an annual event that celebrated the peaceful coexistence of humans and vampires, and this year is the one-hundred-year anniversary. The road to peace between the two races wasn’t an easy one, and while our existence is peaceful for the time being, we tend to surround ourselves with our own kind. There are few instances in which humans and vampires interact, one is the Amity Ball.
“I just don’t understand why I have to go, I haven’t in the past.” He held the door open for me and I slid into the back, moving over and allowing Blake to follow.
“The ball is nothing but stuffy, old, rich humans and vampires who are only interested in one another because they are exactly the same. I am bored out of my mind every year, and you entertain me.”
Blake scoffed at my comment, “Humans are not the same as those monsters.” He mumbled angrily under his breath.
We tended to have different opinions when it comes to the vampires. I didn’t mind being around them but Blake hated them, more than anyone else I had ever met. I knew that our backgrounds were different. I had only ever been exposed to the aristocratic vampires and unless they made it known to you there was nearly no difference between them and a high society human. Blake had seen both the aristocratic and the low levels, which is why he insisted on training me.
Something told me that his hatred for them stemmed from more than just on the job experience, but whenever I asked him about it he would get angry and for the next few days he would put as much distance as his job would allow between the two of us. When my family was asked to move for my father’s job I was forced to leave everyone I loved behind and since my parents insisted that I finished my schooling privately, Blake became my only friend. For the most part he still is.
“I don’t expect you to be excited about it, nor do I expect you to go out of your way to speak to them but please, for me, try to be respectful of them. At least for tonight.” He turned away from the window to look over at me, and I could see that he wasn’t completely on board.
“What like some Proffer?” I sighed irritated with his language. That wasn’t exactly a word that everyone just threw around.
“No, just don’t kill one. They are harmless, at least the ones that will be there.” He gave me a strange look but eventually nodded in agreement and went back to staring out the window.
Proffers were a taboo thing to talk about, and calling a human one was most definitely an insult. There was an agreement that vampires could not drink directly from humans, unless they were willing. Those who did offer themselves up to the vampires were called Proffers. It is meant to be done in private, behind the closed doors of a vampire’s home or Proffer clubs, but it was easy to tell when someone was offering their bodies as a meal because all the bite marks were nearly impossible to hide.
I checked my phone as we approached the tall iron and gold embellished gates that surrounded the perimeter of my family’s home. I had already received three missed calls from my mother which meant that she wasn’t happy. I was meant to be home thirty minutes ago.
The driver pulled the car as close as he could to the front, stopping on the gravel drive just in front of the fountain. Blake was out of the car before our driver even had time to exit his own door. He never let him open his door, nor did he let any of the house staff tend to him, it was a pride thing.
I quickly thank the chauffer and hurry to catch up with Blake, “Can you slow down!” I whine as I pick up my pace.
“I would, but I am just so excited to get ready for the Ball.” He said sarcastically. Ok Cinderella. It wasn’t until he stopped to open the front door that I was able to reach him and once we were inside he lightly set my bag down on the table in the center of the foyer.
“Alexandra Isabella Westwood, you’re late.” I heard my mother bellow as the clacking of her heels echoed against the marble floor.
Blake chuckled and clutched my bag once again, “I believe that is my cue to leave, I’ll take this to your room.”
I nodded suddenly remembering what I had done this morning, “I had a suit picked out for you, to match my dress, it should be waiting for you.”
“Of course it matches.” He joked lightly and quickly ascended the stairs just as my mother came into view.
Without missing a step, she latched her hand onto my wrist and began dragging me back in the direction that she had just appeared from, “Your father and I would like a word.”